Written by Rick Starkey
Ages: 8 - 12
Grade level: 3 – 7
I love this book! It could be because I joined a Sevierville critique group with Rick and his sister, Ann, but it’s not. It’s simply well written! When I sub, I bring along autographed books. When I show Blues Bones to middle graders, especially boys, they pick it up. They even write down Rick’s name so they can find this book later.
In Blues Bones, Rodney plays in front of his classmates for the first time. He freezes and becomes the school joke. Somehow Rodney and his best friend meet a famous guitarist with voodoo connections. The boys put together a spell with a few ingredients and a “real finger bone,” but they wind up with more problems than stage fright. Debbie Dady, another member of the Sevierville critique group, added this quote to the cover, “Readers will worry about Rodney as he plays with Voodoo. Love the twist at the end!”
I did too! And, I want to know what happens to Rodney after the book’s over. The sequel’s written, but it’s waiting on his publisher. I hope they print it. Readers, like me, are ready for more from Rodney and Blues Bones!
The first picture is Rick and I at the Nashville SCBWI conference. Did you know Rick is also a magician and a musician? He’s multi-talented!
The skull alphabet book is a clue to my next blog. Can you guess what’s in it?
Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett
Ages: 4 - 8
Grade level: P – 3
This story is so unique! I’ve never met an OCD story character before (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), but now I have, and I loved him! Badger Pete can’t stand messes so he cleans everything from mismatched flowers to a tangled fox’s tail to birds in their bird bath. He even sorts the birds by size. Now that’s OCD! Things go a little too far when he takes on the forest and cleans it up. Read this book to find out how wrong cleaning can be. By the end Pete realizes his mistake and promises to tidy less. Whether he succeeds is anyone’s guess. I hope so! There’s more to life than cleaning!
Cook Me a Rhyme: In the Kitchen with Mother Goose
Written by Bryan Kozlowski
Ages: 6 - 9
Grade level: K - 6
This book is YUMMY!!! Literally! Bryan took Mother Goose and gave her a recipe for some of her famous rhymes. His menu features brunch, lunch, treats, and sweets. First up, or down, is Humpty Dumpty who serves up Tumbledown Toast. Check your kitchen for bread, ham, eggs, salt/pepper, and cheese. Each rhyme line matches a cooking step. Humpty D. sat on a wall…set up bread wall. When the recipe’s done you’ll have an egg nestled in toast, baked for 12 minutes. Yum, Tumbledown Toast!
Bryan’s directions are kid/mom friendly. When something sounds dangerous, Mother G appears to ask for a grown-up’s help. The book ends with Jack and Jill and a pail Cotton-Crown water. To make it, you’ll need seltzer water, white grape juice, cotton candy, and maraschino cherries. Try out Mother G’s recipes…you’ll gobble them up!
PS- Bryan is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. His first book did so well he wrote this one. I wonder what he’ll do next, maybe Hansel, Gretel, and that Gingerbread House. YUMMY!